Teen kills himself with pawn shop's shotgun

Officials respond to an apparent suicide at a pawn shop in Lake City.

Courtesy of Lake City PD
Published: Wednesday, March 19, 2014 at 12:08 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, March 19, 2014 at 12:08 p.m.

A 19-year-old man who acted as if he was interested in buying a shotgun at a Lake City pawn shop Wednesday morning loaded a shell into the weapon and fatally shot himself, according to Lake City police.

Dead is Brandon Lee Klatt of Deerfield, Mich., Lake City police spokesman Craig Strickland said in a news release.

The incident happened about 10:05 a.m. at American Pawn at 905 SW Main Blvd., Suite 100. Klatt asked to look at a shotgun from the display. He was handed the unloaded shotgun and began looking it over, as if to purchase it, Strickland said.

Then Klatt took a shell out of his pocket, loaded the gun and shot himself in the head as he was backing away from the counter.

Klatt was taken by ambulance to a Lake City hospital but died at 10:58 a.m.

“It is unclear how Mr. Klatt ended up in Lake City, but investigators are in communication with the family to gather more information as to what led to the shooting and his trip out of Michigan,” Strickland said in a press release. “Mr. Klatt was in American Pawn the day before the shooting, but did not look at any firearms that day.”

Strickland told The Sun that as far as he knows, there are no regulations for gun dealers to have triggers safely locked. Walmart stores, for instance, have trigger locks on guns on display.

“It may be left up to the store,” Strickland said. “The only requirement is that stores leave them unloaded. When a customer goes into a store they are going to want to rack it back to see how it operates, how it slides, how rough it might be, how loose it might be.”

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